USA / Canada – A public park named after the grandmother of Pakistani Catholic minister Shahbaz Bhatti
BRAMPTON (Agenzia Fides) – A public park in Brampton, near Toronto, Canada, has been named after Pakistani Catholic minister Clement Shahbaz Bhatti (1968-2011), who was killed by terrorists in Islamabad on March 2, 2011. The Mayor of Brampton, Canada, Patrick Brown, presided over a ceremony held recently to inaugurate the “Shabazz Patti Park” and commemorate the former Pakistani minister. “I am proud to officially open Shahbaz Bhatti Park in Brampton. Bhatti was a true symbol of religious freedom. “We will never forget Shahbaz’s legacy, courage and sacrifice,” Brown said in his speech. “He laid down his life for the development of Pakistan, where the rule of law, justice, freedom and equality are principles to be respected and lived by,” he declared.
The municipal administration and the entire population of Brampton, home to a community of Pakistani immigrants who wanted to promote the project, paid tribute and praised Shahbaz Bhatti’s efforts for interfaith harmony.
“This park honors its heritage and is a reminder of the importance of interfaith harmony, acceptance and inclusion within communities like Brampton,” reads a note released by the city administration, which intends to dedicate the green space to the Pakistani minister. Located in Davenfield Circle.
Shahbaz Bhatti was the first Catholic Member of Parliament to be appointed Union Minister for Minority Affairs in the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government in 2008. In 2011, he was shot dead in Islamabad, in an attack that the terrorist movement Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan said had already threatened him, condemned and unjustified, for his criticism of the blasphemy law and his defense of Christian woman Asia Bibi. Death for blasphemy. The woman, who was later acquitted by the Supreme Court in a third-degree ruling, is an expatriate in Canada, where a thriving community of Pakistani immigrants (about 215,000 people) and some of Patti’s family, including Shahbaz’s brother Peter, live. Patty heads an NGO called “International Christian Voice”. The NGO assists asylum seekers and refugees who have suffered religious persecution and supports their resettlement in Canada. Every year, in memory of Shahbaz Bhatti’s martyrdom, Pakistanis in Canada hold a memorial ceremony to preserve her heritage and faith.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 20/8/2022)
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